Retail NI and Retail Excellence, last Wednesday (13 March) welcomed the vote in the House of Commons against leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
Two of the biggest retail representative bodies on the island of Ireland joined forces in welcoming the vote to take ‘no deal’ off the table as 'an important step forward in avoiding a potential economic disaster on both sides of the border for retailers.'
According to a statement both bodies have also underlined the importance of the next stage in the Commons – the vote to request an extension to the treaty negotiations.
“This evening’s announcement brings some degree of certainty, in one aspect at least by taking ‘no-deal’ off the table. The Commons must now also agree to seek an extension to the Brexit departure date, said Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Retail NI.
“The UK Government’s proposals for a no-deal tariff regime made for frightening reading for retailers on both sides of the NI border."
Roberts highlighted that key votes remain in the days ahead.
"Retail NI, in conjunction with our partners in Retail Excellence Ireland are calling on MPs to vote to approve a prolonged extension period of at least four months, that will give retailers some breathing space," Roberts said.
"It’s vital that an extension will allow some consensus to win out and the development of an agreed, negotiated exit path, be it a cross-party Labour / Conservative deal, a general election or second referendum.”
In response to yesterdays vote David Fitzsimons, Group CEO of Retail Excellence outlined that retail in the Republic of Ireland employs over 282,000 people - more than all the multinationals in Ireland combined, and contributes over €7 billion to the exchequer.
"As an industry it is perhaps the most exposed to economic shifts and for that reason alone, we need a negotiated exit for our closest trading partner.” Fitzsimons concluded.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.